If you’re a caregiver for a family member, you need to look after your own mental health to provide the best care for others, an expert says.

Caregivers are at an increased risk for depression and anxiety. Clinically significant symptoms of depression occur in 40%-70% of caregivers and major depression occurs in 25%-50% of these caregivers, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance.

” Pay attention to your stress levels. Taking time to care for yourself is vital and will benefit your whole family. Maintaining your strength physically, emotionally and mentally is important to be able to provide the support a loved one needs,” said Katelyn Vinklarek, Director of HCM Home Care.

Stress can affect your physical health, causing problems such as headaches, sleep issues, heart troubles, high blood pressure and elevated fat and sugar levels. If you’re feeling the effects of stress, click here to find a doctor or make an appointment with your primary care provider.

There are a number of ways to reduce stress, including regular physical activity, relaxation techniques such as breathing, yoga or mindfulness, making time to see friends, and doing activities you enjoy.

It’s important to have a support network of people with whom you can talk and confide. HCM Home Care skilled nurses, home health aides, therapists and social service professionals provide extraordinary care in the home.

Some reasons our patients have used HCM Home Care:
  • A desire to live independently, but need extra support to do so safely.
  • A family member/caretaker who needs a short break or emotional support in dealing with a loved one requiring special care.
  • HCM Home Care offers an array of services and accepts most insurances. We also offer many options for maintaining independent living which are convenient, safe and affordable.

Visit our website to learn more about HCM Home Care services .

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on caregiver health and wellness.

SOURCE: Gracie Square Hospital, news release, November 2019